Armenian government approves draft strategy of public administration system reform
Public Administration Reform Strategy
“It would not be an exaggeration to say that this document is one of the five most important documents of our state, even [the second-most important] after the constitution”, said Armenian Justice Minister Karen Andreasyan.
The government has approved a draft strategy for reforming public administration. As a result of this reform, an increase in the efficiency of public administration is expected – due to the modernization of the work of the entire system.
The ultimate goal of this project is the formation of a system of progressive democratic governance and the creation of a state system of the fourth generation.
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“For the first time, the entire state system will be modernized”
The Public Administration Reform Strategy is a document that outlines new approaches to
- policy development and coordination,
- providing quality services to the citizens of the country,
- human resource management,
- modernization of state institutions.
The government assures that for the first time after the collapse of the USSR and the declaration of independence, a document has been developed for the full reform of the entire state system.
The rationale for the project states that the adoption and implementation of a reform strategy is a priority for ensuring the security and stable development of the country.
The key problems that are supposed to be solved with the new strategy are low management efficiency, insufficient institutional capacity, low quality of services provided by government agencies, and imperfection of the public services system.
“Problems will be determined and solutions found”
According to Minister of Justice Karen Andreasyan, the strategy developed by the government aims to solve many conceptual problems:
“Problems of the entire management system were diagnosed very objectively – at all levels. Together with the diagnostics, all possible solutions are prescribed – in several stages”.
He stressed that reforms had already been carried out in the sphere of public services in the country, which led to a partial improvement in the situation, but serious problems remained. In particular, the current system of civil service, in his opinion, most of all needs institutional modernization. He says that often the system not only does not help but also interferes with the work. In addition, it does not sufficiently encourage its best staff members:
“This strategy clearly outlines solutions to this – how to reward, how to encourage those really deserving, how to make the civil service attractive – in comparison and competition with the private sector”.
“There are unnecessary and missing parts in the current system”
According to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the problems were identified during a three-year rigorous study of the public administration system, which he compared to a car that is inconvenient for everyone who uses it:
“We discovered (although we already knew) that this ‘car’ has extra parts and missing parts, that this ‘car’ does not meet modern requirements, is inconvenient for both drivers and passengers, sometimes it consumes more gasoline without gaining sufficient speed, sometimes its brakes fail, sometimes it skids on corners”.
The prime minister is confident that in the process of implementing the strategy, society will stop criticizing his government for the fact that employees of state institutions are regularly given high bonuses. According to him, in order to attract highly qualified specialists, it is necessary to give a decent salary:
“But in order for proper remuneration not to be an unbearable burden for the state budget, this service must be optimal in size. We keep saying that our state system is extremely overloaded, but there are links where there are not enough people to do some work”.
“The expected result is progressive democratic governance”
The authors of the project assure that the new strategy will lead to the formation of a system of progressive democratic government.
To achieve this strategic goal, a sequence of steps has been developed:
- creating a realistic, efficient, predictable reporting system for strategic planning and policy implementation,
- provision of public services to citizens based on modern, technological platforms,
- the formation of professional civil service, independent of changes in the balance of political forces, with awareness of public interests, as well as with a decent salary,
- creation of effective state institutions on the principle of “maximum ratio of price and quality” of the work performed,
- formation and preservation of high-quality human capital in the state system,
- formation of a technological and innovative system of public administration,
- resource-efficient and sustainable public administration.
The reform will take place in three stages
The reforms are planned to be completed by 2030, consistently implementing three pre-planned stages:
- “Institutional and functional modernization” (2022-2024) – elimination of systemic shortcomings in all areas, the formation of effective structures.
- “Systemic transformation” (2025-2027) in all strategic areas is a prerequisite for the formation of the fourth generation state system.
- “Government 4.0 and the digital state” (2028-2030) provides for the completion of all reforms and reaching the level of the fourth generation state system.